Friday, October 21, 2011

Board Nominations/Fleet Consolidation

As happens every other year, there are no nominations for the SEAS board other than the siting seats held by Lauchlin Leach, Seth Wyman, Dan Castle and Brad Haynes.


A couple of facts.

1. There was a question back in May about the reverse auction. Yes, the SRA is authorized to throw out bids at a certain amount. We spent an extra 3 years fighting NMFS Financial Services to allow us to have one bid amount so that there would not be higher and lower bids. This is where they left us, a reverse auction. Since there were 7 bids above $250,000, and that cutoff gave us a remaining number of 311, with $10 million left over to purchase more permits in the future, that is where we ended up.

By the way, if you decide to post or comment on here, that's just fine. But know that I will never post your comment with anonymous on it. IF you want to post a comment that I will accept you must sign your name. That's how it's worked in America since the Pilgrims came over. If other sites want to have anonymous blather that's just fine with me. Not SEAS site.

2. It's important to remember that the 3% assessment is collected on the fish ticket by the processor. Just like the enhancement tax. In fact it will be the same amount initially. BUT, if we don't spend the money and/or if we are successful financially in the fishery, the 3% can and will be lowered. Likely to around 1.75% if we don't do a phase 3. Else it will likely go to around 2.5% or possibly even 2%. Our fishery loan is based upon us harvesting pinks at a quarter and chums at .30. So if the prices stay higher, our rate goes lower. OUR RATE CAN NEVER GO HIGHER.

3. With all the talk in the past of how no new boats are out there, did you look out your tophouse windows at all the new boats. I counted 35 either brand new, Canadian rerigged, or California, Homer, Kodiak, etc boats in SE this summer. The ADFG count of 262 is likely to go up with the official CFEC count, but this is 27% higher than the 207 boats that were fishing in 2004.

4. The date of the vote is coming soon. Keep your eye on the mail at Thanksgiving to Christmas time.

Again, SEAS and PSVOA boards in their entirety are in favor of the fleet consolidation. In fact, I believe it is the first time on any issue that there has been 100% concurrence between the groups.

SEAS hasd been polling members and the fleet at large for decades. Never has the suppport been below 77%. Never above 86%.

The major polling we did in the spring came out at 84%.

Don't know how we could put it plainer.

I know it's not perfect. The reverse auction made it so there would be winners and losers, so to speak, so that makes it tougher for some folks. That's why we never wanted a reverse auction. WE knew it would make it tougher and seemingly less fair, but that's the only way NMFS would let us proceed.

Call anytime.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Nominations for SEAS Board

Seats recently won in election and/or appointed for Seth Wyman and Lauchlin Leach are up already as well as the seats held these past 3 years by Dan Castle and Brad Haynes.

Nominations are open for these 4 seats.

Candidates should have the willingness to tackle the tough issues and work hard to ensure that their fishery is promoted and protected.

There are 2 major meetings each year, one in Juneau and one that switches from Ketchikan to Sitka to Petersburg on alternating cycles over the 3 years.

Hope you all had successful seasons and see you this fall in Alaska or Puget Sound.

While SEAS will not have a booth at Fish Expo, we will have personnel there to discuss issues of importance to you. Look for me or Marty to be there or both.

Best Fishes


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fleet Consolidation is here

Letter to go out to permit holders May 26.

June 6-July 1, bid period.

Fall, 2011 Vote on fleet consolidation.

Winter, 2011-2012, Winning Bidders get money for permits if the program passes.


While this is the timeline, if there aren't enough bids or if the bids are too high in the June6-July 1 round, the SRA board reserves the right to throw the bids out and start over.

Any questions, call me on my cell at (907)723-8267

Bob Thorstenson, Jr
Executive Director, SEAS

Monday, May 23, 2011

Buyback meeting today with SRA board

The $23.5 million loan for the buyback was placed into the Federal Registry today so the public comment period runs until June 22.

The SRA board is meeting at 3PM and it is likely that they will immediately go out to bid from June 1-July 1.

The vote and remainder of the program will be put together in the fall and winter but we want to ensure that we have bids as early as possible so that folks will exactly what they're voting for in the fall.

Here we go.


Monday, May 09, 2011

The abolition of Cost Recovery


There has been some disconcernation over the proposed NSRAA 2012 cost recovery abolition.

First, this is something that SEAS has wanted for a long time. We enacted legislation that was passed in 2006 that allows hatcheries to voluntarily cease cost recovery in place of paying the fishermen to catch all the fish. Of course the glitch is that CR has to be paid somewhere so there will be an assessment. At this years price it would likely be less than 15%. In 2004 it would have been around 40 percent.

Interesting to note this because it was 2004 when we began this process in earnest.

It's out of SEAS hands now. After extensive polling and research amongst seiners in SE, we were sent on a mission to create the potential to allow this cash collection to happen while ridding the hatcheries of the cost recovery as put into place in the mid-80's.

We passed a tough bill in the teeth of the session with a major major SE holdout who held the bill for nearly all the 2 years.

Now it's up to NSRAA to implement. And we are very excited that NSRAA is taking this baby to the cleaners and getting 'er done.

Thanks Steve and crew

Any questions call Mitch Eide at 20679088156
john barry at 7384645


i've heard some complaints. If it doesn't work out then we can go back to the stone ages and scew up our entire hidden falls season with standard cost recovery.============


On another note, the buyback is coming ........SOON

We may not pay this summer but if anyone wants to bid they'd better get it on to bid this summer

The nice thing about newsletters and blogs is that you can prove up on the BS

WE've been doing this since 2004 so you can see the trail.

If a guy wants to save CR now or oppose the Buyback now, then he's probably too late. Way too late. We've been working on these major major issues since the dawn of time. Lot's of back issues to look through to prove me wrong.

I should be out again on a blog as soon as we hear this week from NMFS on the buyback.

Call anytime for members, or potential members at 907-723-8267

warmest regards


Friday, March 18, 2011

Fleet Consolidation/Board of Fish

While the NMFS Financial Services Division gave us assurances that we'd be done with the fleet consolidation by summer, it's dragging on... and on.

It looks like the odd-even cycle brought an increase of nearly 20% of new boats in 2009 then down 9% in 2010 and we see the fleet going up again in 2011 by around 15%.

So the math of paying 3% to keep 15-20% increases from occurring looks sound.

There's been talk of crew not getting anything out of the buyback.

Well, with an average of 240 boats catching 48 million dollars of fish, the average gross stock is $200,000. Almost identical to last year. The average crewshare in this scenario is around $15,000.

If 360 of the existing 380 permits were operating then the average gross stock would be $133,000 and crewshare would be $10,000. Or less.

So what's in it for crew? Higher crewshares.

And since almost all of us were once crew, it makes for a stable investment platform for the future. We all know that most of our investment is in the boat, skiff, net and other equipment, and maintaining and storing it all. The permit, while prices have indeed gone up significantly, is not the item that makes or breaks an operation. If you have a 58 footer, a net, a skiff, etc, you won't have a problem finding a permit. If you have a permit, you can't catch a fish unless you have the rest of the show.

Our permits, while having gone up significantly, are worth around the same price as it costs to purchase the right to harvest 6000 pounds of halibut or blackcod.

If we're too exclusive, then there must be other fisheries which are moreso.


Board of Fish proposals are due April 8th.


Early forecast. While the pink fry haven't headed out, the die is cast for a lousy winter in the north and mainland-central SE.

We may yet have some southern salvation and the island systems didn't have as bad a time as the mainland.

And ocean survival looks better the last couple years.

So, here goes. In 2012, we're looking at a 20 million harvest, with major gaps and rebuilding going on in the north. When the fry come out we'll know more. This is just the Bobbyt Juneau winter index.

The 2011 forecast has been downgraded to 71 million harvest from 76 million as the switch from 2-2 to a 5 day rotation will likely be slowly implemented. We may or may not need those 5 million-- methinks not-- but that's the way it is.

Have a good spring.